Bills expanding the definition of equal pay for equal work and a ban on prospective employers from asking about salary history were signed into law on Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo approved the bills as the U.S. Women’s World Cup soccer team was preparing to march down the Canyon of Heroes. The team’s success has spotlighted their own pay inequity with the U.S. men’s team, which does not have the same track record of winning matches.
“We stand with them in solidarity and New York will once again lead the way and I’m going to sign a law today that says it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s not just the moral thing to do, it is also the law in the State of New York,” Cuomo said after signing the bills. “And my friends, it is now the law in the State of New York. Equal pay for equal work.”
The equal pay bill is meant not just to address disparities not just between genders, but also women of color.
“From soccer fields to board rooms, Americans across working sectors are standing up for their right to equal compensation and today New York is answering that call,” said bill sponsor Sen. Alessandra Biaggi. “Every New Yorker deserves equal pay for equal work regardless of race, sexual orientation, disability, or however they choose to identify.”
And the salary history question is meant to take on a more endemic concern that workers who are paid less inevitably lose out of earning more money at a new job.
“The first step in closing the gender pay gap is ending the salary history question so low salaries do not follow women throughout their career,” said Sen. David Carlucci.